From star-led projects to nature documentaries, Peter Bowen profiles a selection of upcoming feature docs.
Michael Moore's assault on the US healthcare system opened on June 22 in the US, and starts an international rollout in August. Gary Faber, executive vice-president of marketing at The Weinstein Company feels confident that 'with (Moore's) humour and his message, he will connect everywhere'.
Morgan Spurlock's Untitled Osama Bin Laden Project
Super Size Me's Morgan Spurlock is finishing his latest work, which he is keeping under wraps until the autumn. In it, the Big Mac-eating film-maker retraces the West's futile efforts to locate Osama Bin Laden.
Dan Klores' story redefines the cultural concept of a dysfunctional relationship. In 1958, Burton Pugach blinded his then girlfriend for dumping him by throwing lye in her face. He went to jail for 14 years and, when he got out, married the same woman. Klores acknowledges that he 'initially wanted to do this as a narrative feature', but realised the facts were too good on their own.
Bill Guttentag pays tribute to the horrific massacre of some 200,000 Chinese by the Japanese in 1937-38. A group of concerned actors - Mariel Hemingway, Woody Harrelson and Stephen Dorff, among others - lend their presence to the project, which explores the testimony of Europeans who lived through the assault. It is set for release on December 12 from ThinkFilm.
Ghosts Of Cite Soleil
Danish film-makers Asger Leth and Milos Loncarevic travelled to Haiti to document the violent gang life in a neighborhood the United Nations has described as 'the most dangerous place on Earth'. Ghosts has a celebrity push with Wyclef Jean providing the music and serving as an executive producer. The film was released in the US at the end of June.
From Paramount Vantage, this nature film marries the global warming politics of An Inconvenient Truth with the animal drama of March Of The Penguins. Queen Latifah narrates the drama of two animal families - a polar bear and her cubs and a walrus and her brood - struggling to survive in the Arctic.
No End In Sight
Charles Ferguson's Sundance award-winning documentary meticulously explores the errors and mis-steps of the Bush administration in Iraq. While, on the whole, Iraq documentaries have not done great theatrical business, Ferguson's fact-based approach might move audiences when it is released by Magnolia Pictures on July 27.
The King Of Kong: A Fistful Of Quarters
Film-maker Seth Gordon mixes 1980s nostalgia with a modern-day competition to break records on classic arcade games in this real-life Revenge Of The Nerds. Picturehouse will release the film on August 17.
In The Shadow Of The Moon
From ThinkFilm, David Sington's documentary explores NASA's lunar programme, mixing interviews with living astronauts and archive footage to recount the Apollo missions to the moon. Due for release September 7.
Shine A Light
Fresh from his Oscar win, Martin Scorsese turns his cinematic attention to the lives of the Rolling Stones. Having already made music documentaries on Bob Dylan and the blues, as well as his groundbreaking The Last Waltz, which focused on The Band, Scorsese is in comfortable territory here. Paramount Vantage will release the film on September 21.
My Kid Could Paint That
Sony Pictures Classics spent more than $1.5m on Amir Bar-Lev's captivating story of a baby genius artist who might just be a hoax. For Bar-Lev: 'The audience has to study faces to decide whether people are lying, and look at abstract paintings to decide whether or not a four-year-old could paint them. I've always felt this would be much more exciting and fun to do on a big screen.' The film is due for release in the US on October 5.
An Indifferent World
For Warner Independent, Ted Braun (with Don Cheadle as producer) addresses the world's refusal to act in the face of the ongoing genocide in Dafur. Due for release on October 19.
The 11th Hour
Narrated and produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, Leila Conners Petersen and Nadia Conners' eco-documentary hopes to take over where Al Gore left off in An Inconvenient Truth. The documentary is due out on August 17 in the US from Warner Independent.